At ADI we strongly believe that every child, regardless of religion, race, or background, deserves the optimal environment to realize his potential and live a quality of life. Treating every child with the respect he deserves as a human being is an integral part of the ADI credo.
This is especially prevalent at the ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran Rehabilitative Village, which is situated in a region with many Arab communities and is adjacent to Rahat – a predominantly Bedouin city in Israel’s southern region. ADI accepts any child that meets the Ministry of health’s criteria in terms of eligibility for help – and the number of families and social services from within the Arab communities that turn to the village keeps growing. As a result, ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran has become a model of co-existence throughout Israel and worldwide. Jewish children play, learn and interact alongside their Arab peers in the village’s school, kindergartens, high-dependency wing, therapy centers and social outings.
A similar policy is maintained towards employees of ADI’s network. Staff is selected based on its professional qualifications without consideration to their religious, political or racial background. Among the ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran staff are some 13 Arab members who work hand-in-hand with their Jewish counterparts. They are employed in a variety of frameworks – as therapists, nurses, caregivers, maintenance etc.
The invitation to visit the village, extended by Chairman Doron Almog, Major General (res) to Rahat mayor Talal Al-Krewani and his associates, Rivchi Abultaib and Saeed Alubra from Rahat’s Ministry of Welfare, catapulted this relationship to a new level of cooperation and understanding.
Doron led his visitors on a tour of the village, during which they were touched and moved by meeting and hearing the stories of the Bedouin children in the high-dependency hospital wing, school and rehab center. They also spoke with Bedouin staff members, who spoke warmly about their experiences, feelings and dedication to the village.
The Hydrotherapy Pool, Horse-Riding Therapy and the varied rehabilitative services offered by ADI Negev’s Rehabilitation Center were of great interest to the guests, as there are no such parallel available therapies in Rahat besides physiotherapy. They will encourage their constituents to come to the village for these quality services. In addition, they were especially interested in learning about ADI Negev’s highly developed Volunteer Program, which they wish to replicate.
For the Negev region in particular, with its close proximity to Gaza, the large Bedouin populations, and the dearth of available quality special education and therapy services for all communities – ADI Negev is an oasis. We are proud of its working model of respect and understanding among varied populations, where staff and visiting families and community members look beyond their differences to share the common hopes, goals, and progress they all wish their children to realize.